The recently announced electronics ban on airline cabins has triggered mass queries for travellers around the world.
Due to terrorism concerns electronics larger than a phone will now be banned in cabins on flights to the United States and the United Kingdom. The ban will take place on flights from regions in the Middle East and North Africa and as of March 25, airlines who have not yet implemented the ban will be barred from flying to the US. Although the ban has not yet been implemented on Australian airlines, those stopping over in Middle Eastern regions on route to the US may be affected.
Will travel insurance cover checked-in electronics?
Generally checked-in electronic devices such as laptops and tablets would not be covered by travel insurance. Unlike carry-on belongings, laptops or electronic items stored in the hold of an airplane are considered the airline’s responsibility, not your insurer’s. Customers should seek compensation from the airline before seeking reimbursement from their travel insurer.
More often than not, items left unattended (that is, not directly in your view or out of your reach) are not covered by travel insurance. Nevertheless, given the current airline reforms, new provisions are being made to accommodate affected travellers.
Natalie Ball, director, Comparetravelinsurance.com.au says:
“The carry-on electronics ban will no doubt inconvenience a vast number of travellers. However, what we do know is that insurers are already in talks to revise their policies in light of this ban. Travellers should not be held to ransom by these stringent security measures and insurers are well aware that they must adapt to redress the situation.”
In terms of keeping belongings secure Ball suggests that travellers use reasonable caution and take a close look at their travel insurance policies.
“Shop around and know the details of your policy. Check limits and any excess that may apply; the cheapest isn’t always the best option for your trip. Assess what items you’re taking away with you and specify any high value items you must take.”
As a final note Ball advises travellers to keep a close eye on their belongings, particularly those of a high value.
“Undoubtedly, keeping your belongings under close-watch is the best way to go. In keeping with the current electronics ban doing so may no longer be under your control. If possible, consider leaving your more expensive electronics behind or if you must, make sure your travel insurer is up to date on these new reforms.”